Verizon Starts Droid Android 2.1 Rollout
It appears that Verizon is currently rolling out the eagerly anticipated Android 2.1 update to Motorola Droid handsets, according to a report at Engadget. If reports citing an internal Verizon memo are true, the staggered, over-the-air Android 2.1 update was slated to start at noon today for 1,000 users. If all goes well, starting at midnight on Wednesday, 2.1 will be transmitted to 200,000 Droid owners at a time at 24-hour intervals until everyone else gets the new OS version. The news of the eagerly anticipated update comes one day after the Droid's European sibling, the Milestone, received version 2.1 of Android, and after disgruntled Droid owners began posting negative comments about the delay at Motorola's Facebook page.
New Mobile Apps, Pinch-to-Zoom in Android 2.1Android version 2.1 includes the following: pinch-to-zoom available when using the browser, Gallery, and Google Maps applications; there are new Weather and News applications and widgets; there is support for voice-to-text entry; there is a Gallery application with 3D layout to view and share photos via Picasa; animated wallpapers; free Yahoo Mail support; an update to Google Maps and several other minor tweaks as well as fixes, such as fixing a bug in which e-mail sent through Microsoft Exchange was getting stuck in the out-box.
Droid owners recently began complaining about the update delay, as the Google-branded Nexus One launched in January with version 2.1 of Google's open source mobile platform. Backed by a big-budget marketing campaign by carrier Verizon, the Motorola Droid generated a lot of buzz when it went on sale in November: it was the first Android handset on Verizon, the first device to ship with Google's free, turn-by-turn mobile navigation app Google Maps and, ironically, was the first out of the gate to feature Android version 2.0. In December, a patch to version 2.0.1 was issued over the air to subscribers, offering a number of fixes and improvements. The 2.1 update was set to begin rolling out in stages to 250,000 users at a time on March 18, but then the Android 2.1 upgrade was halted by Motorola, which did not disclose details on the delay. By press time, Verizon and Motorola had not returned calls seeking comment.